What Is SEO?
- SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
- SEO is the method of ranking websites higher within the search engines to get free organic traffic.
- SEO is the process of designing, building, and promoting a website with search engines in mind.
- The purpose is to rank well in the search results.
- Applying SEO to your blog is not hard; just learn the basics, and your site will rank higher than many others.
Search engine optimization is essential if you ever want to gain decent rankings in the search engines. Even though the word SEO can sound intimidating, actually applying it to your blog is nowhere near as hard as it sounds.
All you have to do is invest some initial time into learning the basics, and soon your blog will be better than 90 per cent of the others out there simply because you’ve done some SEO.
What is a Search Engine?
Next comes the question then, what is a search engine? When most people think of a search engine, they think of Google and frankly they are the 800 pound gorilla in the industry. But there are many other search engines that drive a fair amount of traffic and each have their own algorithms that calculate the rankings.
A search engine is a platform which allows users to enter a keyword or phrase in order to find information about that topic. Each search engine uses its own unique algorithm to provide results to searchers.
There are lots of different search engines out there but the top search engines are listed below
While some people use others, but you need to be ranking on Google. Statistics show that over 65% of people use Google as their primary search engine, so ranking on there will provide you with the most traffic.
It’s also important to note is that different search engines have their respective ranking factors, this actually means that ranking well on one search engine doesn’t mean you’ll rank on the others. These search engines use different factors to rank a website, so it is important that as part of any SEO strategy you should consider multiple search engine ranking factors.
What is Search Engine Algorithm?
The algorithm is the science behind how the search engines rank your website, Google uses over 200 different variables on how they rank a website. Each variable is weighted and SEO will tweak websites to suit these requirements, however, Google regularly changes and update their Algorithm to make sure that people who try to use software to do SEO automatically cannot exploit the system.
Ideally, you will try to optimize your website to a very high standard and be strong on many of the variables so that when Google does an update you are less likely to feel the effects of such changes. Recent years (April 2012) was the start of it. Google released what is known as the Penguin update which targeted spammers and those who use link building software and millions of websites were affected.
Since then there has been a range of Panda and Penguin updates, which make SEO more difficult for those who look to take shortcuts. Even now in 2018 Google are always on the lookout for websites to take down so that when the general public Google something they get a good quality relevant website for the search term they type in.
How Search Engine Works
Search engines collect data for each and every site they could find and after that search engines send bots known as spiders to the respective website for crawling. The bots crawl information for the website and return after collecting the data for indexing the website to the search engine.
The search engines then rank the websites in the order of importance based on a variety of factors. They also penalize and reward websites based on websites’ activities. You can find more about How Search Engine Works in our other article.
Pros and Cons of SEO
So what are the pros and cons of using SEO? Well, the obvious pro for implementing SEO strategies is the free traffic it generates. By getting your pages and content to the top of the search engine results, we are increasing our chances of being found by people who are looking for solutions or products online.
More importantly, those who search for specific terms have a higher what’s called “commercial intent,” and are much more likely to buy something once they’ve found it. The cons are that it really can be extremely competitive and requires a large commitment of time and energy.
The biggest drawback is the ever-changing algorithms that determine where and how pages are ranked. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. It’s a long, hard game of King of the Hill and there is no finish line.
Pros of SEO
- SEO generates free traffic to your site.
- By getting your pages and content to the top of the search engine results page (SERPs) you increase your chance of being found by people looking for solutions and products online.
Cons of SEO
- SEO can be very competitive.
- SEO requires a large commitment in time and energy.
- Biggest drawback: Search engines change their algorithms frequently, so SEO strategies which work today may not work tomorrow.
- SEO implementation is an ongoing process without end.
The “New” SEO
Due to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, the user experience is more important than keyword density. Optimize based on user intent and not just search bots. The Future of Search Marketing is IBSO (Intent Based Search Optimization)Using keyword SEO doesn’t work the way it used to. Instead, now you must have:
- Targeted topic
- Targeted page title
- Clean URL
- Compelling meta description
- Intuitive layout and navigation
- Quick load time
- Great appearance
- Call to action above the fold
SEO Tools and Software
There is SEO software out there which you can buy and this will do some boring SEO work for you, things such as directory submissions and link building can be done at the push of a button. Many SEO companies try to use software to carry out some tasks, our advice is to steer clear of any software because as tempting as it may be your SEO efforts will suffer by using tactics like these.
Search Engine Optimisation has been around for a while, Google is well aware of spamming techniques and is smart enough to counteract any cheating as it were. Don’t get me wrong there will always be smart people out there creating tools that can cheat the system and yes these may work for a little while, however, Google will eventually penalize you and all of your rankings could come crashing down.
Search engine optimization only works best when done manually and naturally by a professional SEO with experience and reliable resources. One of the problems many people face is being led down the wrong path.
You will see that there are loads of different people out there telling you how SEO works and the reality is there isn’t one set way that SEO works. On top of this, there are loads of ways SEO doesn’t work, but there is so much material out there telling you it does.
Everything I show you in this course is a proven strategy that has worked for me, and if you follow these steps and procedures, then you will be able to rank websites. The terms used for these SEO Tactics are White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, Grey Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO
Well, as we explained this is the tactic, we recommend you use as all others will lead to you being found out eventually and suffering a dip in rankings or even being banned by Google. A white hat SEO carries out all SEO work manually and uses ethical tactics only. This will cause good rankings and no potential danger or penalties.
Those of you who know me know that I don’t 100% believe this is the best tactic to use. Now I’m not against white hat procedures at all, my concerns are for the businesses and niches that don’t quite have the budgets for massive advertising campaigns or have a captivating piece of content to write. That is where other techniques may have to be implemented in the SEO campaign.
Black Hat SEO
This is a tactic used by SEO’s where they use software to carry out tasks such as link building and directory submissions. Other Black hat tactics are Doorway Pages, Hidden text, keyword stuffing, and link rings, etc. Doorway pages are simply buying a domain name that links to your main website, for example, you could sell scooters and your main website is tricks scooters
You could buy other domains such as www.cheapscooters.com etc and have a single page website linking back to 7cilo.hosts.cx this tactic is now frowned upon by Google. Hidden Text is another tactic that worked years ago. People would add white text onto a website with a white background and mention the keywords over and over again as it wouldn’t be visible to the human eye.
Having keywords on your page is an important ranking factor that has been abused by people over the years, so if you decide to use hidden text, then you could potentially get your website into trouble. A popular topic that you may have heard me discuss is PBN’s (private blog networks). These are a big list of sites within your control that you can link out to any websites of your choice. I won’t go into too much detail about this right now, but it’s something that a lot of SEO’s will use to help rank a website.
Grey Hat SEO
Grey Hat SEO is just a mixture of white hat and black hat techniques. Like I mentioned previously there isn’t one set way to rank a website, some niches require more work than others, some won’t need any black hat methods to rank well and others may rely on it heavily. Grey hat is an SEO tactic that implements any technique that is required and if done correctly can ultimately rank your website high on the search engines.
SEO is search engine optimization. But for those of you don’t know what it is, search engine optimization is a technique, a skill that people use to rank websites organically online. So forget about all your paid stuff, your social media, and everything else. The organic search engine rankings are what SEO is. And obviously, there’s a wide range of definite things that you can do to make a website rank.
And throughout this article, different modules will go into all the different aspects of what gets a website to rank well. But with the search engine optimization, it’s not about one thing. There are lots of different things. Google will tell you that there are over 200 variables that constitute a website being ranked. As for 200 variables, there probably is if you wanted to count them all up, but the main variables are things like site speeds, click-through rate, content on your website, link building, technical issues.
The certain parts of the technical side of your website that need to be tweaked and fine-tuned to make sure that your website is doing what it has to, and loads within the optimal amount of time. You’ve got guys that analyze server logs. There are real guys out there doing some really weird and wonderful stuff to try to get their websites the competitive advantage over the next guy’s.
Back in the day, there were people out there who had websites that were just flung together, had the back content on, a nice video and a ‘buy now’ button. At some point, I’m sure that was enough to rank well and make some money online. But Google wants to refine the websites that it shows on page one. They have to look at the technical aspects, site speed, the content. Is the content in there really for what people are searching for? The link-building side, you’ve got good quality relevant links now whereas back in the day, again, it was just sheer volume and spam.
Obviously, with the volume of websites and web pages that are flung out there on a daily basis, and I’m not sure exactly what the stats are, but there are literally millions of websites getting put up on a daily basis. Google somehow has to be able to filter out some of the garbage that’s out there. At the end of the day, that’s what SEO is. It’s always evolving and changing. Google releases updates.
They’ll look at different things or look for different things, and it’s up to yourself to keep on top of the most recent updates. When you start learning this, it can be very difficult to get a grasp on everything that is required to rank well, which is why you’ve got to do it step by step and probably not follow that many people.
There are loads of guys out there who claim to be good at SEO, who are potentially using dated tactics or whatever. Some guys that are on the speaking circuit and whatnot don’t even do SEO on a regular basis anymore, they’re just very good at talking, were good at SEO back in the day, and probably have guys in the office that do it. But do these guys keep on top of it? Absolutely not.
I’m not saying that’s the case for every speaker out there, just you’ve got to do your research in who you follow or who you want to listen to rank well. I would always say back when I was learning, I used to follow a huge amount of people. Some were talking bullshit, some weren’t. That confused me a lot, so in the end, I had to follow a select few guys after doing more research, checking what they were saying out, trying my own stuff out, doing my own testing. Then I started to find my feet.
You have to do your own testing, but as for SEO is, that is essentially what SEO is. This article is designed to go through all the different aspects of SEO that are required to be done for you to rank a website. Just follow this as a step-by-step guide, and hopefully the end of it, you’ll have a much firmer grasp on what SEO is. That is the definition of what SEO is, but how it all pulls together, that’s what the rest of the modules are all about.